PAUL ANDERSON will send the Huddersfield Giants into action against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at the Galpharm on Sunday knowing he has the full backing of former boss Nathan Brown.
The former Great Britain prop takes charge of Huddersfield for the first time this weekend as the Giants bid to get their Super League season back on track.
Brown was released early from his Giants contract on Monday in the wake of a run of seven defeats in eight top-flight fixtures as well as Sunday’s Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Warrington Wolves.
The Australian was due to leave Huddersfield and join St Helens at the end of the season when Anderson was originally planned to take over as head coach.
But even though Brown has paid the ultimate price for the current slump by leaving now, he has given his former No2 his full backing – and Anderson admits that support means everything.
“I had a beer with Browny on Monday night and we’ve had a good, long talk about a lot of things,” said Anderson.
“It’s obviously been a tough time for him, and even though he comes across as such a laid-back character I know how disappointed he is. He’s a top bloke and everyone at the club still has the utmost respect for him, both as a coach and as a person.
“And that again shone through in the conversations we’ve had this week.
“Despite everything that’s happened, he’s backing me now as much as he’s ever done. He’s wished me well and everyone else at the Giants, and I know he genuinely means it.
“To know how much he’s behind me means a lot, and that’s something I’ll take into the Wakefield game this weekend.”
With Sunday’s contest being the first in charge for the new head coach, Anderson knows it’s an extra-special occasion.
But he feels it’s even bigger for the 17 who are handed the first chance to impress their new boss.
“We’re starting with a clean slate on Sunday,” he added.
“No disrespect to Wakefield, who are a very competitive team, but this match is a classic case of being all about us.
“I’m obviously very keen to see how the players respond to what’s gone on this week, and they know that if that response isn’t positive, then someone else will get their chance next week. It’s as simple as that.
“It doesn’t matter who they are. They all know I expect everyone who plays on Sunday to go out there and play to the best of their ability. If not, they’ll know about it!”